Sunday, April 4, 2021

One game in April means nothing. But a series against your main opponent... that brings takeaways!

Weird season, '21. We won't play Boston until June 4. (Yes, June Fourth.) By then, Chris Sales will be soft-tossing, Jeter Downs will be in Double A, the SI swimsuit edition will be in shreds, and unless somebody emerges, the Redsocks will be tanking - as they so artfully do in weird seasons, such as this. They're the Brood X cicadas of the AL East.  

It's the Rays and Jays that concern us, and  starting next weekend - April 9 - the Yanks play nine straight against these self-entitled, villainous frat-pigs. Six will happen in Florida - three in Tampa, three in Dunedin - where Toronto will play until Lake Ontario unfreezes and Fauci figures out Covid. Weird season, indeed, but happy days for Florida Men (and their 17-year-old concubines!) 

Which brings us to this: 

Happy Insert Religious Holiday everybody ! 

For Domingo German, this is Resurrection Day. If he pitches well - I'm thinking six innings, one run? - 2021 looks far more pleasanter. 

So... two games. One win. A million takeaways. (Distilled, for your convenience.)

1. Okay, it's great to see Gary Sanchez blasting HRs. Not complaining. This notion some people have that we at IIHIIFIIc whine about everything?... NOT TRUE! This is not a whine. It's a takeaway. I am not complaining. I'm fulminating. And in this fulmination, I would simply note that over his roller coaster career, Gary Sanchez HRs go in all directions. If he's swinging for the fences - well - another .146 batting average is possible. Can he adjust? Can he change? If not, don't be deceived by two HRs. By the way, Gary has yet to strike out this year. Not one! Wouldn't it be neat if he kept that streak going for, say, 10 games? Just keep putting the bat on the ball, Gary - that's all we're asking. And this is NOT a whine!)

2. On the other side of the fulmination fan... in eight ABs, Aaron "Hope" Hicks has struck out six times. One hit, one walk. Insert sigh here. The YES pre-season narrative went that Hicks would thrive hitting between the skyscrapers - Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton - elevating his stardom and value. Thus far, nothing. That trio has been a drain on the offense. (Stanton is 0-8.) They will surely wake up. But I'm less "Hopeful" on Hicks batting third.

3. Meanwhile, doncha leap from the bean chair whenever Clint Frazier comes into view? He is the one ascending star on this team - the hitter whose peak remains ahead of him. He is three for six. Of course, he bats ninth. (Not complaining: It's nice to start him out low in the order, so he can hit his way to a higher perch. If he keeps it up, though, Hicks must fall and Frazier needs to rise.)

4. Jonathan Loaisiga could be a breakout bullpen arm. But Aaron Boone better be careful. Loaisiga's career has always shown great talent and numerous injuries. If he becomes Boonie's Daily 8th, Loaisiga's health will be in danger. (I'm thinking of how good Tommy Kahnle looked last year, right around now - then, poof.) The Yankees must not Scott Proctor this kid. In fact, they might even make him a starter. Yes, it's more innings, but they can be more carefully planned. I leave this to the Yankee brain trust; I'm sure they're on it. (But when Boone hits a salad buffet for bullpen arms, he chooses whomever is hot. That's where we hit trouble.) 

Even in a weird season... and yes, this is one.  


Anonymous said...

Well, for me the highlight of the day was Boone discussing MLB moving the All-Star game. What a maestro . He sounds like a government lawyer or politician's spokesperson. Now I remember why I do not like him. [I worked in and around government lawyers for 40 years and every lawyer joke is correct.]
I wish Billy Martin was still around or Bob Gibson or anyone not a corporate shill. God could we have Casey Stengel back for just one day!

HoraceClarke66 said...

The fielding, in general, has not looked great. Balls dropping in between our tentative outfielders, getting away from Sanchez. Best fielding play was by Bruce of all people. But, a couple of key double-plays

Only four innings for Kluber isn't great, either.

Anonymous said...

A few thoughts...

1) Non Baseball - The Gonzaga/UCLA game was one of the best basketball games I have ever seen. Just sayin', but this is why I watch sports.

Riveting. Guys playing seriously banged up and coming through. Smart players playing smart. Underdogs hanging in until the final second. Non contrived drama. Truly great.

2) Sanchez - Watching Sanchez this year (so far) just confirms to me the wisdom of John Sterling. "You can't predict baseball" and the even more accurate...

"Gary is Scary" Scary for the opponent. Scary for us as fans.

I'm sticking with the Who's "and I get on my knees and pray - we don't get fooled again" but until he reverts to the mean he is welcome to hit all the home runs he can. I refuse to hope.

I smell a segue...

3) "Hope" Hicks

Duque here's your sigh. "Sigh". I also don't understand why he bats third which takes me to...

4) Who makes out the lineup?

How does Jay Bruce (who found a walnut yesterday but is totally overmatched) bat ahead of Frazier? So far they've been lucky because Sanchez is making contact but having Bruce into Sanchez seems, I don't know... idiotic.

Don't forget Bruce didn't make the team. Without the Voit's injury he'd be selling cars.

5) Last - Is it me or does Judge seems hesitant in the field? Trying to stay healthy? Maybe it's me.

At least they won.

Doug K.

Anonymous said...

1-1 for the year so far. They blew a winnable game in the opener. Didn't the opener seem a lot like the last playoff game against the Tampons? Boone waiting until the opposing team hits one out against the starting pitcher, instead of making the change one or two batters sooner. Five innings should've been enough for Cole in the opener; instead, Boone leaves him in to start the 6th. In Game two, four innings should've been enough for Kluber; instead, Boone leaves in to start the 5th. Fortunately, we had a two run lead this time. But this is a pattern with Boone. He makes pitching changes after the horses are out of the barn.

It's possible that Cashman and Co. direct even the pitching changes. (They seem to direct everything else.) Boone might be nothing more than a puppet manager. He may be waiting for a message from above before making a move.

It appears the only reason that Hicks hits third is that they want to break up the right hand hitters. He's been an absolute zero in these two games. I have never thought that Hicks was anything more than a fourth outfielder. But there's definitely one thing that he can improve upon right now: swing the bat. This guy is too passive at the plate. You can't be getting called out on strikes, never taking the bat off your shoulder. He has almost the opposite problem of Gary Sanchez, when Sanchez struggles.

The Hammer of God

JM said...

It just hit me today...if Sanchez hits a home run in every game, his batting average will be somewhere between .200 and .250. For a guy who hits 162 home runs a year, I find that acceptable.

Kluber is one of those guys they used to call a junk pitcher, isn't he? If he hits 90 mph with his fastball, scoreboard fireworks should go off. Not that there's anything wrong with that. But wily veterans can be mildly maddening. There are only so many knuckle curves a fan can take.

My theory about Hicks is that the Yankees have are followed by an impish sprite. The past few years, its favorite host to haunt has been Sanchez, but this year, even the sprite is tired of the guy. So it's moved on to Hicks. Piece of cake to fuck him up since he's already halfway there.

Besides, tormenting Hicks gives it a closer look at the Twin Towers. And it's thinking, "Now THAT might be a good time!"

ranger_lp said...

@JM now you know what when Kluber got clocked at 92 MPH you know what it means now...

Celerino Sanchez said...

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again an expecting a different result. This team has had the same lineup for the past 5 years, they pound poor pitching, but fold like a cheap suitcase if they face any type of good pitching. This team is destined for an early exit again.